Five gang members, including one man who was killed over the weekend in state prison, have been charged in the San Bernardino murder of the wife of a member of the Mexican Mafia, authorities said Wednesday.
The shooting death last year of Carmen Gutierrez Rodriguez was planned in part behind bars by three of the defendants, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. A motive for the killing has not been disclosed by law enforcement.
The arrests and charges were the result of a multiagency task force investigation, police said in a statement. The defendants all face murder and gang-related charges.
Rodriguez, a mother of five, was gunned down in a parking lot in January 2017. Her husband was Andrew Rodriguez, who police described as a Mexican Mafia prison gang member. He died three months later at Pelican Bay State Prison. His death remains under investigation as suspicious, investigators said.
Charged in Carmen Gutierrez Rodriguez’s slaying were Isaac Aguirre, 44; Robert Fernandez, 43; Eric Moreno, 30; Richard Garcia, 45; and Matthew Manzano, 35.
Moreno, Garcia and Manzano were in California prisons when the slaying was planned and carried out, police said. Moreno was killed Sunday in his cell at Kern Valley State Prison, the San Bernardino Sun reported. Garcia and Manzano remain in state prisons. It wasn’t known whether they have attorneys.
Aguirre and Fernandez were in local custody and pleaded not guilty, according to court records.
Four of the men charged in the murder were identified as members of the Westside Verdugo gang, police said, while Manzano is alleged to belong to a Redlands gang that was not identified.
Moreno’s cellmate, Daniel Olguin, 36, is the suspect in Moreno’s death, state prison officials said. Police declined to comment on whether Moreno’s slaying was connected to the Rodriguez murder case.
The task force effort, “Operation Green Hand,” resulted in 86 arrests on suspicion of various weapons, conspiracy, auto-theft and narcotics charges, in addition to the murder charges.